Now that you’re getting ready to move onto college, it’s time for a new computer. Here’s what we advise:
- Ask what the school or program recommends. The computers and software they suggest will be the technology that they are most prepared to support when your student needs tech help.
- The computers sold by the universities often come with a high price tag. Before you faint from sticker shock:
- Many schools offer extended warranties and accident insurance. This may be included in the price.
- If the tech support is done onsite and they offer loaner computers, it may be worth it to get the computer from the school.
- If not, shop the recommended computers. Be sure to get an extended warranty and accident insurance. It’s expensive but not as expensive as running out to get a new computer during finals week.
- Do not wait until the end of August to buy the computer. You want to have the option of ordering a computer and you don’t want to sweat the delivery date. You want to have the time to return the computer if there’s a problem. This also gives your college student a chance to get to know the computer before heading to campus. Computers make excellent graduation gifts!
- Many colleges offer free or hugely discounted software. Many also require a specific virus protection in order to be on their network. Before buying any software, check with the school bookstore to see what they require and offer.
- If you are going with Apple, be sure to take advantage of their student discount. And get their Apple Care.